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One dead, two injured in Montana distracted driver accident

With our increasing dependence on personal technology, distracted driving is becoming a serious danger on the roads today. A recent distracted driver accident in Montana is an extreme example of a driver neglecting his responsibility to pay attention to the task of driving.

The accident happened on Interstate 94 near Custer. According to authorities the driver, a 22-year-old Glendive man, asked his passenger to take the wheel so he could dial a number on his cell phone. While the passenger was holding the wheel, the car crossed the median. The driver grabbed the wheel but overcorrected; the car swerved and overturned. The driver and the passenger were ejected from the car. The passenger, a 24-year-old man from Wolf Point, died at the scene. The driver and a backseat passenger were injured. The backseat passenger, a 21-year-old man also from Wolf Point, was hospitalized and in critical condition at the time of this writing.

Cell phones, smart phones, tablets and laptops make it is very easy for us to do business 24/7 and stay connected with our friends and family at all times. But we are learning, through tragedies like this fatal crash, that perhaps the old days of pulling over at a gas station to use the pay phone weren't so bad after all. We all need to put the technology down and pay attention to the road.

Drivers are expected to watch the road, pay attention to their surroundings and keep a lookout for pedestrians and other vehicles at all times. When a driver fails to pay attention because they are distracted by technology, that failure is negligence under the law. And when a negligent driver injures another in a car accident, the victim has the right to hold the driver accountable and seek compensation through a civil lawsuit.

Source: Billings Gazette, "Fatal crash happened when driver asked passenger to take the wheel" Aug. 8, 2012

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